This month, Faber’s Alwyn Hamilton has been telling us about her life as an author. Rebel of the Sands came out earlier this year.
How would you describe your books to someone who has never read your work before?
The Rebel of the Sands trilogy is a young adult fantasy adventure that combines the wild west with the 1001 nights. It’s about a young female sharpshooter named Amani who is desperate to get out of her dead end town and winds up on the run across the desert with a mysterious stranger.
Which storyline/character/book that you’ve written has been your favourite?
I love love loved writing the opening scene/sharpshooting competition scene in Rebel of the Sands.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your characters and stories?
From trying to fall asleep and spinning different stories and characters and conflicts in my mind!
Has your latest book ended the way you thought it would?
It has. I planned out my whole trilogy, roughly, right at the beginning of writing it. While there has definitely been room for change, the big pillars have stayed where I thought they would go.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Anywhere from six months to a year and a half for a draft. And then another six months to nine months to edit it.
What do you do when you’re procrastinating over writing?
Watch clips on YouTube or reorganize my entire flat.
What are you currently reading, and what will be next off your TBR pile?
I’m currently reading Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman as well as A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess. I’m hoping to pick up The Reader by Traci Chee next.
What would you pick as the best part of being an author? And in contrast, the worst?
Best part is the days when the writing is going well and an idea or a character or a plot point clicks. Worst part is definitely taxes.
Was there a particular book or author that made you want to become a writer?
There are definitely some that made me want to write fantasy. Alanna by Tamora Pierce springs to mind, and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.
What character or series do you wish you could have come up with?
So many sprung to mind just then, but then I figured, I’d rather not have written any of the books I love because then I wouldn’t have gotten to read them. But there are a handful of great heist books I really adore that I would love to have thought of.
You’re going to take a week off and do all your favourite things… what are they?
I’d get straight on a train to France, go to my parents’ house, go on bike rides through the vines, hang out reading books in the sun, and eat great food and just generally chill out with them.
Is there something you’d like to achieve in the literary world that you haven’t yet?
I have been very lucky so far in everything I’ve gotten to do. But there’s still loads more I’d like to! I’m just getting started, I hope!
What are you working on next?
I’m currently working on the third and final book in the Rebel of the Sands trilogy, which is as yet untitled and comes out in early 2018.